In several newspapers we can read about great support for ecumenical efforts. Protestants and Catholics join forces. The strategy is clear: First unite the various Protestant denominations, then merge this group of churches with the Catholics.
The question is this: Why are the churches uniting? What is going on? From the Catholics' own sources we find that the soldiers in the papal front lines, the Jesuits, have been commissioned by Rome to unify the church denominations _ by their having dialogues. At the 1995 Jesuit General Conference 34, they said that "The second Vatican Council has encouraged all Catholics to enter into dialogue... so we can promote unification... The Holy Father has time and again asked the Jesuits to bring about an inter-religious dialogue, an apostolic prioritizing in the third millennium...it seems like a dialogue is developing the gathering and liberating potential for all religions..." (Dekre 5, pkt. 130 (D5, 130)) "...Inter-religious dialogues is an integrating element of the Jesuits mission..." (D5, 137) They say, "We have a special responsibility to promote inter-religious dialogues." (D5, 154) Yes, "this culture of dialoguing should become the special hallmark of our Jesuit Order."
Through the ecumenical exertions of the Jesuits, The Catholic Church attempts to engage Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, various Protestant denominations, and others in dialogue. When we witness church denominations jointly arranging events, we are beholding the visible fruit of the dialogues between the churches.
Ever since Vatican II, in 1962-65, The Catholic Church has strived to unite the various Protestant denominations under the umbrella of Rome. No longer are Protestants called "heretics", but "separated brethren". Now the Catholics are in full flight. Just like it is the in thing to unite in the political, financial and military fields, you are also to unite in the religious sphere. This unification has resulted in one thing: The metamorphosis of Protestants. They have drawn near to The Catholic Church.
Protestants and Catholics regularly reach agreements, e.g. "The Joint Declaration" (the common announcement regarding the Lutheran and Catholic teaching on righteousness), and "The Charta Oecumenica", an agreement between Catholics and Protestants in Europe. In this document they call for full church communion. Let us read from point 5, § III in this document: "Until we reach the goal of full church communion, we intend to act together in all matters in which no deep differences of conviction compel us to act separately."
They are "to avoid hurtful competition" (Point 4, § II), and we quote further from point 4, § III: "We commit ourselves to discuss our mission and evangelisation work with the other churches; not to induce people to change their church membership."
Hence churches are to jointly evangelise the unchurched, and individual congregations are to work to reach those who have "slipped out the back door". In practise, the agreement in the document "Charta Oecumenica" means that all recognise each other as adequate alternatives. They are to evangelise jointly, but avoid "stealing" members from one another. However, how can Protestant churches strike such a deal with The Catholic Church? This endangers freedom, the freedom to unequivocally preach a Biblical message, including the message urging people to leave Babylon (Revelation 18:4).
Today, almost no Protestant priests call the Pope Anti-Christ. The Protestants in Luther's time harboured no doubts. When the papal bull reached Luther, he declared: "I despise and attack it, as impious, false It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself." (-D'Aubigné, b. 6, ch. 9).
In the [Norwegian] Lutheran Symbolic Books, page 539, it says that, "the characteristics which, according to Scripture, distinguish The Anti-Christ, perfectly apply to the papacy and its supporters." Luther was right. All Biblical marks of the great, anti-Christian power of Revelation 13, 17, and 18 fit the papacy. One of the titles of this seducing power, is "The Whore". The Bible calls her "the mother of harlots". The Vatican spokesman, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said in the paper The Daily Telegraph, September 4th, 2000: "Ours is the mother of churches". So The Catholic Church says it themselves that they are the Mother church. They are the Whore. In the Bible, in Revelation 17:5, we read that The Whore also has harlot daughters. These are the churches which co-operate with The Whore, and adhere to several of her false dogmas. The Bible entreats us strongly not to become partners of The Whore. It says: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).
In spite of these clear warnings, we are today witnessing Protestant church denominations entering into ecumenical relations with The Whore. Instead of protesting against the papacy and its errors, they are joining it. This is a sure sign of apostate Protestantism.
If you and we consider ourselves a part of God's people, we should not enter into ecumenical relations with the papacy and fallen Protestantism. We are most solemnly called upon to loudly and clearly urge people to come out of the great, seducing world power of the end time, the papacy. How can we give the right signals about leaving Babylon, when we go in there and worship together with Babylon?
We wish to stress that we caution about the Catholic system itself and its unbiblical teachings, as well as against apostate Protestantism. We are convinced that there are many and sincere God's children inside these churches. God must surely have His people in Babylon, too, because He says, "Come out of her, my people " (Revelation 18:4). God has given us a burden to proclaim this message to those persons, who unknowingly are part of Babylon. "I have made thee a watchman", God says, "therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me" (Ezekiel 3:17). In heaven, we want to meet those of God's people now still in Babylon. We cannot bear the thought of their blood being required at our hand, because we refrained from the unpleasant task of giving God's message of warning and hope. Whenever God issued His sharp warnings through the prophets in bygone days, it was not to attack those living in apostasy. He corrected them from a heart full of love. He saw that if they continued on their course, they would eventually be lost. However: "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye" (Ezekiel 18:32).
The ecumenical movement calls for unity. But are we going to reach unity by majority decisions, when these go against the Word of God, or is unity to be achieved on the basis of a "thus saith the Lord"? The Bible makes it perfectly clear that true unity has to be founded in all that Jesus stood for, both in practise and teachings (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus said that we were to be one in Him (John 17:21). Catholicism and ecumenism are a completely different kettle of fish. We will give you a few, short examples: The Catholic Church has not given up a single of the unbiblical teachings, which necessitated The Reformation. They still claim that the Pope is the vicar of Christ on Earth, but we must base our faith and the church on Christ (the rock), not on erring men (something which the Popes have been throughout history). They still pray to the Virgin Mary, whereas the Bible tells us not to pray to dead persons or images/statues of them (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Exodus 20:4-6). Still, the saints are invoked. Daily, the Catholic priests preach mass for both the living and the dead, whereas the Bible declares that the dead know not any thing. They will be in their graves until the day of resurrection (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10; I Thessalonians 4:15-17). During every Eucharist they "create" and "sacrifice" Jesus anew, in that they believe that the Eucharistic bread (the Host), through the blessing of the priest, actually becomes the body of Jesus. The Bible, though, instructs that Jesus was sacrificed once for all, and that The Lord's Supper is to remind us of the sacrifice, that Jesus achieved on the cross for us (I Corinthians 11:24; Hebrews 9:24-28).
Also, The Catholic Church has, down the ages, introduced many unbiblical customs, and we regret that many Protestant denominations have accepted several of these. It was The Catholic Church, too, that forged God's ten commandments in its Catechisms, making them differ radically on several points from the ten commandment law in the Bible. (Compare the commandments in the Catechism yourself with those of the Bible, in Exodus 20:3-17.) Unfortunately, The Lutheran Church has accepted the forged, Catholic commandments. What backsliding, what seduction (Matthew 5:17-19)!
The Bible says that the kings of the Earth commit fornication with The Whore, and the inhabitants of the Earth get drunk with the wine of her fornication (Revelation 17:2). We have now mentioned a few facts about the intoxicating wine of The Whore = the errors, which The Whore pours into the cup of the world's populace. So The Whore commits political and religious fornication with the harlot daughters, who are lead astray by her sorceries (Revelation 18:23).
It is deplorable and remarkable for Protestant churches now to seek to co-operate with the power that the Reformers called The Anti-Christ = the papal church. That group of people who once had to escape the bayonets and superior force of The Catholic Church, have now become its co-operative partners. What a dramatical change in views, what backsliding!
Of course we should try to sow the evangelical seed among all men, and gladly investigate the Bible with them. We are, in fact, called upon to do so! However, when a Protestant church denomination - as an organisation - attaches itself to The Whore, it has gone one step too far.
This appeal is once more directed at those, who co-operate with Rome: "Come out of her, my people that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
The choice is yours! Ask God to help you follow His advice! It will affect your eternal destiny.
Sincerely yours, Bente and Abel Struksnæs
[Back to the Main Page!]